Sera Timms carries the sort of goth allure that shows such as Game of Thrones try to capture when casting magical female characters. There are elements of "period drama witches" about her, thanks in part to her own fascination with the occult. A dark mystery to her considered image. And then there’s her music, which is both dark and majestically beautiful. Think Portishead meets The Cure.
Black Mare is essentially Timms’ solo project, which she began work on while a member of the band Black Math Horseman. Having moved to L.A. in 2003, she helped put that band together with her then-boyfriend and roommate, Ian Barry.
“I was going to school for digital video and photography, and I started making music just as a soundtrack for my experimental films,” Timms says. “It turned into a whole band situation, and then the music ended up taking precedence. That ended up being the beginning of Black Math Horseman. I initially started writing music for that band with Ian, and then when that band was coming to an end, it ended up becoming very collaborative and it wasn’t my thing. So I started what I thought was a branch off of that called Black Mare, as a solo project. Black Mare’s just been going on since then.”
Timms describes the Black Mare sound as atmospheric, dark and moody, which pretty much nails it.
She lists PJ Harvey, The Cure and Joy Division as her main influences. Black Mare put out a debut album, Field of the Host, in 2013, and this year sees the release of sophomore effort Death Magick Mother. Timms believes that there has been some evolution between the two full-lengthers.
“I do think that it’s got more complex on the second album,” she says. “I think that my vision became more fully realized as I took more time. The first album was put together in a piecemeal way. The second album, I set out with the intent to write an album, and I actually had help with the mixing. So I had another ear in there that I feel helped realize the vision of the album as a cohesive piece of art. Now, the new stuff is going in another direction, which is actually more minimalist.”
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This week, Black Mare performs at the Moroccan Lounge with fellow local goth types Glaare; Brandon Pierce and Cameron Carlin of Glaare will be performing two sets, also sitting in with Black Mare.
Timms says the two men are amazing additions to the live Black Mare experience. Of the set in general, she says we can expect something special.
“There are underlying themes that I don’t discuss with people, but I’m very into esoteric worlds and the occult world,” Timms says. “There’s always an underlying theme that I don’t necessarily share with people but I share it with the band. I will say that there is an underlying theme that goes with the show that will be at the Moroccan, which will be based on ancient Egyptian magic and the idea of genies. That’s a new undercurrent which will support the music.”
Black Mare plays with Glaare at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, at the Moroccan Lounge.